Ten years ago this coming March, I wrote a letter to myself to be read when I turned 24. I'll be honest and say that when my mom found it during my 20th year I went ahead and read it. I stashed it away and forgot about it until I found it last spring and read it again. I put it in a visible place and haven't read it since then.
Today is the day I had anticipated myself opening and reading it again for the first time all those years ago when I was fourteen - two months shy of finishing the eighth grade!
I thought I'd share it on here today as a reminder that through ups and downs and happinesses and sadnesses, time does pass. Sometimes it feels like it's standing still, but I remember this day so clearly and ten years have come and gone since sitting at my kitchen table with my journal/stationary book and penciling these words.
Here we go! (I will take breaks for commentary on each paragraph.)
(Disclaimer: 14 year old me was a bit dramatic and still not that great at spelling!)
Before this letter is thoughroly written or read, one question remains unasked: Have you been raptured? The Lord, if you're reading this on earth, has not yet come back, so let us proceed as normal.
One question remained...even though I'd just started the letter! I was obviously concerned about how much time I had left - and I remember thinking it was quite possible I could be reading it even if I'd been raptured!
How I envy who you are, 24! I long to grow up! Has the past ten years been what you dreamed of it? Is your name still Kelley [current last name] or Mrs. ______ _______? Have you yet been to Ireland, "Oh, land o' your secret dreams?" What has life given you, what have you given life?
Ah, 14, how I envy YOU! No, the past ten years haven't been all I dreamed they would be when I was 14. If you knew then where you would be now, you might be terribly disappointed. But you haven't yet learned the lessons I have, and this side of some of those dreams yet to be realized really isn't so bad as you might imagine. I haven't been to Ireland, though I wish I could remember where it was I read that line! Incorrectly used, Miss Fourteen - everyone has always known you want to go to Ireland. Maybe someday. You'll go to Australia, though, and Germany and Hawaii and so many beautiful places. They were all so much more than you ever imagined. The Lord has given me much, I have not given back nearly enough.
Are you truly happy, Kelley of 24? Is your heart content, full of love? Does your face wear the smile of peace, and harmony with all? Examine yourself, coveted 24. Who are you, what have you become. Do you, 24, brim over with life, compassion, and joy? Do it. Whatever you need to confess, say, or make known, do it. Before it's too late.
Yes, very very happy. You can't imagine how full of love your heart can get - in two years you'll become an aunt! It's the very best thing you'll experience.
Months ago that peace was a little elusive, today it is very present. I have become someone who knows that God's will won't always make sense but that peace is a wonderful sign that you're in it. I don't know if I "brim over" with it, but I'm very excited about life and the time and window of opportunity I've been given.
And seriously. Stop being so worried about time.
And seriously. Stop being so worried about time.
I'll close with one last warning: Youth is happiness. Never forget, or forsake your youth. Friends that are true, come from your youth. And family ALWAYS MUST come first. Remember that, my blessed 24. Always remember.
"One last warning" - what was the first one? ;)
Getting older is also happiness, 14. You will LOVE your 20's (except for maybe 23, but 24 is shaping up quite nicely)! Your friends will change, but that's ok. When you are 16 everything will kind of flip-flop. When you are 17 you will make friends who edify you. When you are 18 and 19 you will discover that those friends will be with you through everything. They will cry with you when your heart is broken and they will pray for you as you find your different paths. You will become friends with their significant others and you will love their babies to death. Your family will mean more to you with each passing year. Just wait, 14. It doesn't look like you're imagining, but just gets better and better.
Always remember the dream: PUBLISHED!
Ha! Now there's a dream that's changed. You will eventually realize you aren't a... novelist? Novel writer? You will realize that you don't enjoy writing novels as much as you love exploring the intricacies of day-to-day emotions and growth and experiences. You will start this blog where you can write whatever you feel like and "publish" it yourself.
I wish for you courage, determination, and happiness.
I am now of the past,
I then listed on a separate page my likes (reading and writing), what I was wearing (my brother's old basketball jersey), what my family was doing (getting ready for my brother's wedding), my best friends, and who my crush was at that time - in very tiny letters at the bottom of the page. Some things are still embarrassing! ;)
It's fun to see what I was hoping for and how things have changed. In a lot of ways I don't even feel like the same person! Maybe I'll write a dear 34...or maybe dear 30 so I can open it sooner!